Top positive review
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An exhilarating, disturbing read
on 25 September 2003
I was drawn to this because I like anything set in India and I had read a review (Sunday Times?) which spoke of its evocative descriptions of Kerala in the south. The book more than lived up to the billing, written with elegant poise and a true understanding of that complicated country. If anything, I found the Delhi scenes even more evocative.
What I wasn't prepared for was the gruesome descriptions of child sacrifice and sati, which left me literally reeling. The book really should carry a warning of some sort. It was only later that I realised that was the whole point - these are the sort of barbaric stories the West often - and mistakenly - associates with India, a theme that runs through the book.
It's powerful, page turning stuff, lifting the Cardamon Club way above the thriller genre, but I just hope pray those scenes were the product of his rich imagination rather than based on real life.